The job market is growing. Is this what it sounds like when (Fed) doves stop crying?

Sign outside a Home Depot store in Hawthorne, New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Sign outside a Home Depot store in Hawthorne, New York.

The jobs report for September was great, but is it enough to convince Federal Reserve doves to raise rates sooner rather than later?

I don't think so, at least not yet. That said, these numbers are pretty impressive.



1) Nonfarm payrolls last month checked in at 248,000, above consensus of 215,000;

2) August was upwardly revised to 180,000 from 142.000, while July was revised up by 31,000 to 243,000;

3) Unemployment rate dipped to 5.9 percent, a pre-recession low, although wages remained unchanged.

On this, gold dropped below 1200 because the dollar index spiked up one percent to a new 4-year high. Commodities are taking a beating, with Brent crude at a 2- year low (down 4% in the last 4 days). European stocks rallied to session highs.

These are good numbers, but the one that caught everyone's attention was 5.9 percent unemployment rate. This is the Fed's 2014 target. Does it spell an end to the perpetual slack in the post-recession labor market?

Perhaps, but the jobs market appears to be getting tighter: the labor force participation rate ticked down, to 62.7 from 62.8. If jobs are becoming more plentiful, why aren't wages going up? Hourly earnings were flat. That tells me that the labor market is still not seeing a sufficiently broad-based recovery.

There's lots of talk about selective labor shortages, but they are just thatselective. Home builders in the south, for example, are complaining that they can't find enough people to build houses because they are all going to work in the oil industry. That seems like an outlier, as companies are not fighting over enough people in enough industries to lift wage numbers.

Is this enough to move the doves on the Fed? The Chicago Fed's James Bullard was arguing forraising rates in the first quarter.

I doubt this figure alone will sway the doves. They will likely only be deterred by a notable pickup in inflation, or a pickup in wage pressures, which is now running at a roughly 2 percent year-over-year growth. That's pretty modest.

I have no idea how much higher it will have to go to get the doves to move, but it certainly has to get closer to 3 percent.


  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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